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“On the Ending Earth…”

By Dark Starr

You might have some trouble if you want to try to classify this. The music is dark and leans toward techno or industrial. It's also got a lot of metal and psychedelia built into it. The thing is, there is a real progressive rock quality to it. The argument could be made that it's heavy metal, but the band considers this progressive rock. Whatever you call this, I really like it. 

Ambient textures start the disc on "It's Already Too Late." The cut drives out with a rocking kind of groove from there. Some fusion guitar rises up amidst the arrangement as the bass really dances around. The vocals eventually come in, bringing a dark edge to the piece. There are bursts of metallic prog jamming that really scream out. "Mother Superior" earns a parental advisory for the lyrics. It's hard rocking. There is a definite psychedelic edge. It makes me think a bit of what you might get if you mashed up JELLYFISH and KING'S X. I can hear some BEATLES musical references here, too. Yet, it's more metallic than any of those comparisons suggest.

 I love the cool bass sound on "Sip the Pleasure of Days." The number is a powerhouse rocker that has plenty of pop rock built into it. It's fast-paced and packed with crunchy edges. It gets pretty intense at times. I dig the moodier, dark and rather heavy sound of "All That Lives Is Born to Die." It is dramatic and evocative. That said, though, it's only the first part. This is an epic piece at over ten-minutes of music. After a while it shifts to more of a driving prog jam. An extended instrumental movement gives way to an up-tempo jam that really soars. It gets back to the moodier zones later. There are some definite hints of PINK FLOYD sound on this. 

Acoustic guitar starts " Thought I Was." The vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. The opening section is a balladic one. The cut grows upward into more of an alternative rock meets psychedelic arrangement. There is a trippy kind of techno electronic vibe as "A Brief Sparkle in the Nothingness" begins. The cut continues to move and evolve, but remains mellower and built around a sparser arrangement. When bits of music rise up I'm reminded of RADIOHEAD. Spoken bits of vocals are an intriguing addition. The tune does eventually fire out into harder rocking, up-tempo jamming later. It has a real psychedelia meets hard-edged prog vibe. This really has an epic vibe to it as it continues to grow and explore. At nearly eight-minutes, it is near epic in size, too.

 Moody and dark as it starts, "Lament" is another that begins mellow and reflective. It grows out with an arrangement that seems to blend something like JANE’S ADDICTION with 80s RUSH. This is a cool song that is one of the more accessible and mainstream numbers here. "Sister Wrongway" has more of that JANE’S ADDICTON thing built into it. This has plenty of variety and changes along the road. While "Want" is decidedly metallic at times, it still has plenty of proggy shifts and changes. There are more restrained sections for the verses, but powered up metallic ones as the choruses.  A short track, "Sip" has a great balance between a bit moodier and mellower and harder edged and angry. It earns a parental advisory. The guitar riff that brings "A Love Letter to Humanity" into being has a real metallic edge to it. There is a dark, techno edge to this thing. There are some cool changes and varied modes on this number. It's perhaps more metallic than anything else here. That's brought home on the guitar solo portion of the track. 

There is a trippy, psychedelic edge to the pretty, mellower modes that bring "Die With Me" into being. There is a cool psychedelia meets pop and prog feeling to this. The cut is still moody, but you can probably gather that from the title. This remains mellower than some of the rest of the tunes here do. There is a rich, almost symphonic electronic edge toa lot of this. "Fade to Black" is appropriately the title of the album's final song. The mellower number is another that remains on the sedate side for the first half of the tune. It's largely keyboard based. It's also decidedly proggy. It has some great melodies and textures. This powers out to soaring, harder edged zones further down the road, really creating an epic feeling to it all. This might actually be my favorite song of the whole set.It makes for a great closing.